Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

06/10/2018
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy MLB Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 6/11/18

We’ve got an eight-game schedule for Monday in baseball with offenses in some good spots against bad pitching. Plus we've got some upside arms coming on the cheaper side. It's all lining up for a solid day in baseball on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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Pitcher

Jack FlahertyJack Flaherty FD 7700 DK 8300
Opponent - SD (Jordan Lyles) Park - STL
FD - 38.59 DK - 20.23
Last game, Flaherty had a fantastic matchup against the Marlins ruined when he allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings. To me, this doesn’t look like anything more than a blip on the radar. He still struck out more than a batter an inning and limited the walks to only one. The Marlins are a bottom-feeding offense and things just went a little sideways. The Padres are right with them with a 26% strikeout rate and .290 wOBA (3rd worst in the league) against righties this season. Flaherty has been having a fantastic rookie campaign with more than a strikeout per inning and a respectable 3.57 xFIP. He comes in as the second-best money line favorite on the day at -185 with the Padres at only 3.6 implied runs. I still think he’s completely underpriced on both sites with the FanDuel price particularly intriguing because it allows the ability to fit just about any offensive stack you want.

Madison BumgarnerMadison Bumgarner FD 8800 DK 10400
Opponent - MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) Park - MIA
FD - 39.29 DK - 20.99
Bumgarner returned from an extended DL stint last week after missing the first two months of the season with an arm issue. He threw 82 pitches with the Giants taking it slowly with their lefty ace. He was efficient, if unspectacular against the Diamondbacks, allowing two runs in six innings while striking out four. That he was able to go six innings in so few pitches was a lot about him not allowing any walks and getting a ton of ground balls. He’ll get a fantastic matchup on Monday, facing a Marlins’ team ranked 23rd in the league against lefties this season with a 21% strikeout rate. He’s a solid -165 favorite (3rd best of the day) and since coming back from the DL is priced way down in the middle salary tier. The velocity in his first start was right in line with his career numbers over the last few years and it’s a near certainty that he bumps the K’s as he gets back into the groove.  I still think we are buying low even with the pitch count increasing (at most) 20% game-over-game.

Carlos CarrascoCarlos Carrasco FD 9700 DK 10700
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 39.47 DK - 21.64
Carrasco is, by far, the best money line pitcher on the day coming in at a -225 favorite against a mediocre White Sox offense. The win expectation really matters on FanDuel but even on DraftKings Carrasco is priced low enough to consider just on the peripherals alone. He’s striking out right around a batter an inning on the season with a mid 3’s xFIP. The ERA is about three-quarters a run higher thanks to some left-on-base issues. He’s still averaging close to 6.5 innings per game, an elite number that gives him such a high cash game floor. I don’t love the park considering U.S. Cellular is a major park downgrade for Carrasco. It ranked as a top third power park in 2017, but the White Sox are sitting at only 3.5 implied runs. From a points-per-dollar perspective, I prefer the two pitchers above, but there’s a strong case to play any one of the three in cash (two on DraftKings).

First Base/Catcher

Edwin EncarnacionEdwin Encarnacion FD 4100 DK 4800
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 14.01 DK - 10.38
Yonder AlonsoYonder Alonso FD 3400 DK 3700
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 11.8 DK - 8.91
If you want to see a real train wreck in action, just take a gander at Lucas Giolito’s numbers on the season. They are truly atrocious. He’s walking more batters than he’s striking out (39 walks to 31 strikeouts in 61 innings). It’s tough to stick around in the majors for long with these kinds of numbers, but Giolito is kind of defying the odds in this respect. His 6.73 xFIP is the thing we dream about when getting a cash game stack together and why the Indians are sitting at more than 5.5 implied runs going into the game. Encarnacion has been fantastic against righties over the last couple of seasons with a .891 OPS and .376 wOBA. He’s patient (13% walk rate) and that could pay huge dividends against this kind of arm that can’t seem to find the strike zone.

Meanwhile, Alonso should slot into the fifth hole in the lineup behind E5. His righty splits are nearly identical to Encarnacion with a 12% walk rate and .871 OPS over the last 600+ plate appearances against righties. The former is still very cheap on DraftKings at only $3700. The only issue on DK is you can only pick one of them because they are both only 1B eligible.

Anthony RizzoAnthony Rizzo FD 4400 DK 4700
Opponent - MIL (Junior Guerra) Park - MIL
FD - 12.94 DK - 9.64
We don’t have to come anywhere close to the upper salary tier for pitching, so loading up on bats shouldn’t be anything close to a stretch. Rizzo’s numbers are way down from last year with an OPS under .800. But there are some reasons to believe he could bounce back over the second half of the season. He’s 40 points lower in BABIP even though the hard contact rate is right in line with 2017. He still walks more than he strikes out against righty pitching this season. Guerra has struggled with the free passes, walking more than three batters per nine and close to four per nine for his career. Considering his season-long numbers, I keep expecting Rizzo to be just a little cheaper though he does have two home runs in his last five games. I definitely think we are getting better value on both of the Indians’ first basemen, but Rizzo has big-time upside in this matchup.

At catcher, Buster Posey is in a great platoon spot against the lefty Chen. And for all the reasons we are on the Indians, you can consider playing Yan Gomes.

 

Second Base

Jace PetersonJace Peterson FD 2000 DK 2800
Opponent - BOS (Steven Wright) Park - BAL
FD - 8.82 DK - 6.94
Over the last two games, Peterson has moved into the leadoff spot for the Orioles who have shuffled a whole host of guys though that role this season. In a lot of ways, and especially compared to his teammates, Peterson is a fairly ideal leadoff hitter. He’s walked 11% of the time over his career with it bumped up to more than 13% this season in 111 plate appearances. He’ll never hit for power (his OBP is higher than his slugging this year, a very tough thing to do) but he will swipe bags (five already this year). The best part about Peterson is the price. He’s still coming at the very minimum on FanDuel and is close on DraftKings. He makes for near perfect salary relief in cash games and has such a solid floor because of the patience at the plate. Steven Wright is a total enigma because of the knuckleball, but almost anytime I can buy a leadoff hitter at the minimums (who isn’t otherworldly bad) then it is an EV+ spot.

Ben ZobristBen Zobrist FD 3000 DK 4200
Opponent - MIL (Junior Guerra) Park - MIL
FD - 10.85 DK - 8.22
Much like the case for Rizzo, Zobrist has a high floor against Guerra because of the former’s patience at the plate. He’s walking 12.5% of the time this season against a pitcher who will off free passes. Zobrist is enjoying a solid season with a .813 OPS and is serviceable against righty pitching. He’s above average with a 106 wRC+ and .335 wOBA in that split over the last two seasons. The Cubs’ 4.5 implied run line strikes me as low in this matchup and there are a number of top of the order bats to target. Zobrist has moved around his slot in the lineup, but I expect to see him in one of the first two spots in the order.

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Shortstop

Francisco LindorFrancisco Lindor FD 4400 DK 5000
Opponent - CHW (Lucas Giolito) Park - CHW
FD - 14.17 DK - 10.86
Getting sick of the Indians or Cubs yet? Well, buckle up, because we are far from through with these guys. Like I said with Encarnacion and Alonso, the spot is just too good against Giolito and Lindor makes for a near must play in cash games considering the positional scarcity at shortstop. He’s putting together another elite season with the OPS creeping up towards .900 and already 14 home runs in his first 289 plate appearances. The strikeouts are up some this year but the power is making up for some of the swings and misses. Over the last two seasons, the switch-hitting Lindor has been better against lefties, but he’s still well above average in his righty platoon split. He’s quite expensive on DraftKings, but since pitching won’t cost a ton you should still strongly consider just rostering up for the superstar shortstop because there’s such a steep downgrade to the next closest options.

Addison RussellAddison Russell FD 2900 DK 3100
Opponent - MIL (Junior Guerra) Park - MIL
FD - 9.46 DK - 7.16
Only consider Russell if you think you need to get out of the position on the much cheaper side or want to pivot from the (likely) more popular Lindor. Russell is merely just a dude in a plus matchup against Guerra. His low .700’s OPS this season is about average for shortstops considering so much of the position is just a bunch of featherweights who hit near the bottom of their teams’ lineups. Russell has seen a tick up in walk rate this season (from 7.5% to 10% year over year) and his 4% Hr/FB rate is much lower than his career 11% mark. He hits around the bottom of the order so you aren’t going to get a big plate appearance expectation boost. He’s the cheap guy to look for if you don’t want to pay through the nose for Lindor.

 

Third Base

Evan LongoriaEvan Longoria FD 2600 DK 3700
Opponent - MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) Park - MIA
FD - 9.91 DK - 7.57
Wei-Yin Chen has to feel pretty damn grateful that Lucas Giolito exists on this slate because the latter has (up until now) deflected much of the spotlight away from the Marlins’ lefty. Chen has been every bit of terrible this season, striking out less than seven batters per nine and walking more than four and a half. His 5.68 xFIP is downright terrible and the Giants have actually been above average against lefty pitching on the season. Longoria spent the early part of his career as a lefty killer. Those numbers have dropped off in recent years with the OPS at only .755 through his last 281 plate appearances. Some of that has been a lower BABIP but Longoria is clearly a shell of his former self. That being said, he’s coming cheap all around in a great matchup against a very bad lefty. The park does no one any power favors but it’s not like we are getting some huge downgrade leaving San Francisco.

Matt CarpenterMatt Carpenter FD 3700 DK 3300
Opponent - SD (Jordan Lyles) Park - STL
FD - 12.35 DK - 9.22
Carpenter is in his age 32 season, which could explain some of the decline he's seen in his overall numbers this year. The strikeouts are up and the walks are down, two somewhat troubling signs that he isn't going to just break it out of the box going forward. But this is still a guy with a .858 OPS over the last two seasons against righty pitching and a super patient 17% walk rate in that split. He should be in the leadoff spot against Lyles, who's been significantly worse against righties over the course of his career. In fact, he's allowed a whopping .812 OPS to that side of the plate though some of that can be explained by having to have pitched in Coors. Carpenter should slot into the leadoff role in this matchup and he's still coming so very cheap on DraftKings.

 

Outfield

Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - MIA (Wei-Yin Chen) Park - MIA
FD - 11.22 DK - 8.47
Unlike his new teammate Longoria, McCutchen eon hasn’t had any issues maintaining his success against southpaw pitching. Over the last two seasons (239 plate appearances) McCutchen has a .978 OPS and .408 wOBA in that platoon split. This is good for 30th best in the league over that time period. He’s elite hitting against lefties and because he’s significantly worse against righties, the price is very much in check. McCutch’s Hr/FB ratio is down this season despite the hard contact rate being way up (47% this season compared to 35% last year). Some of the long ball issues could be from the move into San Fran and the NL West. But there’s also reason to suspect we get a little more power over the second half of the season. Miami isn’t exactly the place to start spiking long balls, but I do really like the dude as a cash game play, especially priced in the lower middle tier on FanDuel.

Tommy PhamTommy Pham FD 3500 DK 4500
Opponent - SD (Jordan Lyles) Park - STL
FD - 12.96 DK - 9.75
Marcell OzunaMarcell Ozuna FD 3400 DK 3800
Opponent - SD (Jordan Lyles) Park - STL
FD - 12.13 DK - 9.21
It’s going to be tough getting away from these two guys on Monday. As I said with Carpenter, Lyles has been worse against righties for the career, but over the last two seasons the opposite has been true. Righty bats are getting to him and this year he's already allowed five home runs and a .800 OPS to that split in less than 30 innings. This is Pham's worse side of his platoon split, but in his first two seasons he’s putting up a .869 OPS and .375  wOBA against righties with a 135 wRC+. He also brings the rare power-speed combo that gives him both a high floor and as much upside as anyone in the game. He hasn’t homered since May 25th, causing his price to fall across the board. But it doesn’t strike me as anything more than a rough patch. Of somewhat greater concern is it’s been almost that long since he’d drawn a walk (until getting one on Sunday). That is also likely a blip, but could be a sign of a slightly less patient approach. It’s all still (mostly) good news for Pham here and if he’s in the leadoff spot he plus Lindor would be my priority bats for cash games.

Meanwhile, we stayed patient on Ozuna through the early season struggles and have been rewarded with his recent play. He’s hit three home runs in his last eight games with the Hr/FB ratio rounding back into his career form. He’s solid against righties over the last couple of seasons with an 9% walk rate, .885 OPS, and 134 wRC+. The price on DraftKings remains way too low as long as he’s hitting in the middle of this lineup and you’ll likely be able to fit the FanDuel price as well.

If looking to save some buck, still strongly consider Curtis Grandson coming off a monster Sunday performance. This will be a Tampa Bay bullpen game which is always a little tough to project for, but Grandyman in the leadoff slot makes for a higher floor play. I’d also consider spending on some Orioles in this spot against Steven Wright. I know Wright was good in his first start this season but has a track record of getting blown up in the past.

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5 Visitor Comments

  1. Jordan Lyles is a righty.

  2. Ditto the above.

  3. Another day, another targeting of a White Sox starter. At least Giolito has been genuinely bad. As opposed to your double backflips and loopdy-loops. Coupled with last year’s stats to get to the conclusion of “Covey and Rey Lopez are terrible” which they have been anything besides that this season. Lopez might be an all-star if he was on a decent team and Covey has a 2.23 ERA. Shutting out Milwaukee and Cleveland in his last two outings over 11 combined innings with 14 K’s and a 1.00 WHIP. I’ve loved this column for years, but come on… These two guys are nowhere near gas cans right now and you keep writing them up as such. Besides this, keep up the good work.

  4. Milwaukee and Boston*

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